|Good and interesting thoughts, Orphan. I just feel that Antietam took place too early in the war to be THE decisve battle. Why? Because the war lasted nearly two and a half more years. That it was one of the decisive battles is true based on the reasons you lay out. However, if it were the most decisive battle, the war should have been substantially shortened as a result, but it wasn't. Antietam still required the assistance of other important Union wins in order for its true impact to be felt.
I also tend to agree with General P.G.T. Beauregard who came to believe that politics would play a significant part in ending the war, not just military action alone. For example, a vital political event that did not take place for the Confederacy was that European nations never came to the South's assistance in any notable way, nor did they declare alliances with the South. That they never did may have been a major factor in the South's not being able to continue to fight. This was a political defeat that did as much harm as losing battles such as Gettysburg and Petersburg.
Last edited on Tue Aug 14th, 2007 01:24 am by CleburneFan